Book - Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes

Steve Taylor-Bryant reads Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse from our good friends at Titan Books...

I love American sports but basketball is one of those games I never took to. Therefore I didn't really know much about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a sports personality. I did however know screenwriter Anna Waterhouse from Power Play and her name comes up in screen-writing circles quite a lot as a person you turn to when your script needs a good polish. Deciding to break a habit of a lifetime and actually do some research before I spout opinion, I looked up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and, quite honestly, the man knows his onions! He is a bestselling writer of non-fiction, has won awards for children's literature and is a student of both Conan Doyle and the era. Add in Titan Books' involvement (I've loved all of their Sherlock/Mycroft books so far) and I'm sold.

Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name​ ​for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports​ from home. There are rumours of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take.

Mycroft Holmes reveals the untold story of Sherlock’s older brother. This harrowing adventure changed his life, and set the​ stage for the man Mycroft would become: founder of the famous Diogenes Club and the hidden power behind the British government.

Sometimes having two people involved in the writing of a book just doesn't work, as one mind tries desperately to overpower the other through the reader but, on this occasion, the result is stunning. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's obvious love of Arthur Conan Doyle's characters is evident and nothing in the novel would cause any harm to Doyle's legacy but the period as described on the page is incredible and very obviously written by a student of the time. Add in some remarkable dialogue and action that reads like a movie script, this is after all Anna Waterhouse's strength, and you get an breath-taking adventure indeed.

Mycroft Holmes reads more like a hybrid of Arthur Conan-Doyle and a Guy Ritchie interpretation than perhaps a book in its own right but there is nothing wrong with that. Enjoyable to the last page, Mycroft Holmes is a solid fiction debut for both writers and I truly hope that there is a second instalment.

Image - Titan.